The Energy Efficient Lighting Programme (EELP) launched on Wednesday is expected to reduce the peak demand of power by about 60 megawatts arising from an imbalance between energy demand and supply, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment Goodall Gondwe has said.
The minister said this during the launch of the programme at Malabada Health Centre grounds in Ndirande township in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s commercial city, Blantyre.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The project has procured low energy consuming bulbs which will be installed in all residential houses for free. The replacement of bulbs is expected to reduce peak demand; and as a result of the reduction, the country should experience reduced frequency of blackouts. These [blackouts] will also be of less duration,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
The programme is being implemented by the Malawi Government with a Ã‚Â£3 million (about K795million) grant from the British Department for International Development (DfID).
Said DfID deputy country representative Martin Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Households and businesses must do their part. By switching from less efficient bulbs to energy-saver bulbs, households and businesses can start to make savings on their energy bills. We believe that this will also take pressure off peak demand in the evenings and help businesses operate without disruptions.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Through the programme, government will procure two million energy-saver bulbs, out of which 1.3 million will be installed in various households, small enterprises and public buildings for free. The remaining 700 000 will be sold to commercial and industrial customers at subsidised price of K300 each.
The current demand for electricity in the country is estimated at 330 megawatts against a total installed capacity of 283 megawatts, according toÃ‚Â statistics from Escom.